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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Mediation Project

Harvested blue crabsThe North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (NCMFC) is often called upon to manage user-conflicts that have little or no bearing on the health of fisheries resources. Conflicts range from simple gear disputes to space, resource allocation, or perceptual issues, and sometimes have historical, cultural, and/or political roots.  The NCMFC adopted a policy endorsing the use of mediation for appropriate fisheries conflicts in October 2004. The NCMFC also discussed the feasibility of accessing the North Carolina Mediation Network, comprised of nonprofit community mediation centers headquartered in coastal counties that provide low-cost dispute mediation services to people and organizations in conflict.  A Fisheries Resource Grant was submitted to Sea Grant and funded to demonstrate the effectiveness of collaboration between the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) and two mediation centers – The ADR Center in Wilmington, and the Mediation Center of Eastern Carolina in Greenville – on selected, appropriate disputes.

Marine Fisheries Mediation Standard Operating Procedures
This document outlines the fisheries mediation program for the NC Division of Marine Fisheries. It describes the mediation process, delineates the division's mediation referral process, and specifies the disposition of post-settlement actions by the division and its coordinating bodies. It also contains several appendices for use by division personnel and the mediation centers for case referral and mediation.

Mediation Educational Documents
Two educational documents were generated under this project: a two-page fact sheet intended for distribution within the Marine Fisheries Division, and a tri-fold brochure for public use.


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